Individualized Family Service Plan-IFSP The Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is a process of looking at the strengths of the Part C eligible child and family, and developing a written plan to identify individualized supports and services that will enhance the child's development.
IFSP • The IFSP is a dynamic planning tool - reviewed every six months or more frequently if you choose. Changes may be made to the IFSP as the child grows and develops.
IFSP • The IFSP differs from the IEP in several ways: • It revolves around the family, as it is the family that is the constant in a child's life. • It includes outcomes targeted for the family, as opposed to focusing only on the eligible child.
IFSP • It includes the notion of natural environments, which encompass home or community settings such as parks, child care, and gym classes. This focus creates opportunities for learning interventions in everyday routines and activities, rather than only in formal, contrived environments.
IFSP • It includes activities undertaken with multiple agencies beyond the scope of Part C. These are included to integrate all services into one plan. • It names a service coordinator to help the family during the development, implementation, and evaluation of the IFSP.
IFSP • Steps that Lead to Effective IFSPs • Identify Family Concerns, Priorities, and Resources. The family's concerns, priorities, and resources guide the entire IFSP process. Early intervention should be seen as a system of services and supports available to families to enhance their capacity to care for their children. The notion of partnership between the intervention team and the family must be introduced and nurtured at this beginning point of the IFSP process.
IFSP • Identify the Family's Activity Settings. All children develop as the result of their everyday experiences. It is important to document valued, enjoyable routines (bath time, eating, play activities, etc.) and analyze them to see if they offer the sustained engagement that leads to learning opportunities. Likewise, it is important to identify the community activity settings (e.g., child care, gymboree, swimming) that provide opportunities for learning.
IFSP Conduct a Functional Assessment. An effective assessment process • addresses the family's questions about enhancing their child's development, focusing on each family member's concerns and priorities
IFSP • collects information for a specific purpose, for example, the evaluation conducted by the early interventionist at the beginning of the IFSP process determines if the child is eligible for services
IFSP • reflects a complete and accurate picture of the child's strengths, needs, preferences for activities, materials, and environments
IFSP • has a person familiar to the child conduct observations and other assessments in settings familiar to the child (e.g., home, outdoor play area, child care program)
IFSP • Collaboratively Develop Expected Outcomes. After assessment information is collected, the team meets to review the information and the family's concerns, priorities, and resources to develop statements of expected outcomes or goals. Active family involvement is essential. Collaborative goals focus on enhancing the family's capacity and increasing the child's participation in valued activities.
IFSP • Assign Intervention Responsibilities.After outcomes are identified, the early intervention team assigns responsibilities for intervention services that support those outcomes. An IFSP requires an integrated, team approach to intervention.
IFSP • Using a transdisciplinary team model is one method of integrating information and skills across professional disciplines. In the transdisciplinary model, all team members (including the family) teach, learn, and work together to accomplish a mutually agreed upon set of intervention outcomes. Individuals' roles are defined by the needs of the situation rather than by the function of a specific discipline.
IFSP • In a transdisciplinary model, one or a few people are primary implementers of the program. Other team members provide ongoing direct or indirect services, such as consultation. For example, an occupational therapist can observe a toddler during meals, then recommend to the parent how to physically assist the child
IFSP • Identify Strategies to Implement the Plan. This step involves working closely as a team to increase learning opportunities, to use the child's surroundings to facilitate learning, to select the most effective strategies to bring about the desired outcomes, and identify reinforcers that best support the child's learning.
Implementation may involve a toddler participating in a library story hour one afternoon a week; a physical therapist showing family members how to use adaptive equipment; or a service coordinator completing the paperwork to pay for a child's transportation from his or her home to needed services.
IFSP • Intervention strategies should help promote generalization of outcomes—i.e., the child performs new skills in a variety of environments after intervention has ended. For example, both service providers and family members can encourage a child to request desired objects (e.g, toys) with gestures in numerous environments (e.g., home, playgroup, child care).
IFSP • Interventions should target several outcomes during one activity. When a child participates in an activity, he or she uses a variety of skills from a number of developmental areas. For example, during mealtimes, a toddler may use communication skills to request more juice, fine motor skills to grasp a spoon, a social skills to interact with a sibling.
IFSP • Intervention strategies should help a child become more independent in his or her world. The selected strategies might involve offering physical assistance during mealtimes, prompting the correct response during a self-care routine, or providing simple pull-on clothing to enable a child to dress without assistance.
IFSP • Interventions provided within natural environments should look like a "typical activity." For instance, a child learning to develop her fine motor skills should be encouraged to color, draw pictures, play with puzzles, build with blocks, pick up her toys, use eating utensils, play finger games, etc. Ideally, interventions should
IFSP • Be embedded in everyday natural environments. • Emphasize the acquisition of functional competencies. • Make it possible to increase a child's participation within the environments. • Include both social and non-social activities
IFSP • Both ongoing and periodic evaluations are essential to any early intervention program. An evaluation may focus on a child's progress toward obtaining desired outcomes and upon the quality of the intervention program itself. Ongoing monitoring of the child's progress requires keeping records in a systematic manner in order to answer such critical questions as
IFSP • To what extent and at what rate is the child making progress toward attaining outcomes? • Are the selected intervention strategies and activities promoting gains in development? • Do changes need to be made in the intervention plan?
IFSP • Periodically reviewing the IFSP provides a means of sharing results about the child's progress and integrating these results into the plan. Part C of IDEA requires that the IFSP be evaluated and revised annually and that periodic reviews be conducted at least every six months (or sooner if requested by the family).
IFSP This ongoing process provides a continual support to the family and child as they realize their own strengths and resources to help their child learn.
Service Coordinator • A service coordinator will help support the family's participation throughout the planning and development of the IFSP.
Service Coordinator • The IFSP should be created within 45 days of the family's first contact expressing their concerns.
Service Coordinator • The initial IFSP should be based primarily on information accumulated during the initial evaluation and assessment process.
IFSP • The IFSP process must include the following components and be documented in some way.
IFSP • The child's present level of development, including strengths, interests and areas of concern.
IFSP • The family's concerns, priorities and resources as they relate to enhancing the development of the infant or toddler with a developmental delay or disability.
IFSP • A statement of the major outcomes (or goals) expected to be achieved for the child and family.
IFSP • It should include the criteria, procedures and timelines used to determine the degree to which progress toward achieving the outcomes is being made.
IFSP • Supports and services to achieve the stated outcomes provided within the child's and family's daily routines and activities.
IFSP • Supports and services should match the family's culture and interests. They should make use of and strengthen learning opportunities throughout the day and in places where the family spends time.
IFSP • The projected dates of when the services will begin, how often they will occur and how long they will last.
IFSP • A variety of funding resources may be used to pay for these services including state and federal government resources, private insurance, family resources and/or local agencies.
IFSP • The name of the service coordinator. This person is the family's primary contact for assistance throughout the IFSP process, and is responsible for the implementation of the plan and coordination with other agencies and people.
IFSP • The service coordinator should also connect the family with other families and ensure that they understand their rights and procedural safeguards under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
IFSP • A plan for transition to special education services or other appropriate resources and supports in the home, community, and/or preschool services when the child turns three years old. The service coordinator must initiate this plan at least six months before the child's third birthday.
Who is Eligible Under Part C • Children age birth to three years of age who have significant delays in development, or who have been diagnosed with a condition associated with delays in development are eligible for Early Childhood Programs (Part C).